A scan of the man's brain. All of the black in the middle is water and the brain matter is the rim of white along the outside of the skull.
French doctors are amazed that a 44-year-old civil servant with an abnormally small brain has led a normal life with a slightly lower than normal IQ, according to a report on Physorg.com.
Doctors said the father of two went to the Hopital de la Timone in Marseille with mild weakness in his left leg. He was given a CT scan and an MRI, which showed that his cerebral cavities or ventricles had massively expanded, according a case history to be published in Saturday's Lancet.
"The brain itself, meaning the grey matter and white matter, was completely crushed against the sides of the skull," Dr. Lionel Feuillet told AFP. "The images were most unusual... the brain was virtually absent."
The condition is called Dandy Walker complex and is a genetically sporadic disorder that occurs in one out of every 25,000 live births, mostly in females. Although many with Dandy Walker develop dramatic symptoms from the condition, such as an enlarged skull, jerky muscle movements and problems with the nerves that control the face, the condition also can develop unnoticed.
Doctors believe this man's condition could stem from surgery he had at the age of 6 months, when he suffered hydrocephalus or water on the brain and needed an operation to drain a buildup of spinal fluid.
Subsequent tests have revealed that the man has an IQ of 75, with a verbal IQ of 84 and performance IQ of 70. The bulk of people in society have a minimum IQ of 85.